David Miliband was making great show today of fulminating in Kiev against Russian disregard of international law. Yet simultaneously he is continuing the sorry British record of participation in war crimes and contravention of the UN Convention Against Torture, Article IV of which covers “complicity” in torture. Both of these are serious breaches of international law.
Binyam Mohamed is a British resident who was the victim of illegal rendition and hideous torture in several countries.
Miliband has declined to release further evidence about the case on grounds of national security, arguing that disclosure would harm Britain’s intelligence relationship with the US.
Mohamed faces a “Trial” by military tribunal in Guantanamo Bay. Judges, defence and prosecution lawyers are all members of the US military. Neither Mohamed not his defence lawyers will be allowed to see much of the evidence against him. This includes evidence of participation in his torture by British security services, and details of where he was being held and interrogated over two years (Uzbekistan? Afghanistan? Poland? Diego Garcia? – Miliband is keeping it secret). By the symmetry of evil, UK evidence is being witheld on grounds it could damage security cooperation with the US, while US evidence is being witheld on the grounds it could damage security cooperation with the UK. This farce is sickening.
It was, of course, the excuse that security cooperation with Saudi Arabia would be damaged that led to the dropping of the prosecution of the vile corrupt executives at BAE. The operations of the security services are, beyond any shade of argument, above the law both sides of the Atlantic.
When I threw over my diplomatic career to expose the hideous UK/CIA complicity with torture in Uzbekistan, I genuinely believed that my personal sacrifice would form part of a movement which would end this abomination being carried out in our names. In fact, the Bush/Blair acolytes have pushed further to the point that poor Binyan Mohamed faces a fate that would have been beyond the pen of Kafka.
Never mind, let’s divert the public by pointing at those evil Russians!